Vikas falls flat in quarterfinals

Vikas falls flat in quarterfinals

Vikas falls flat in quarterfinals

India’s Vikas Krishan felt the full fury and speed of Uzbekistan’s Bektemir Melikuziev as he bowed out before the medal round in Olympic Games boxing on Monday. After the exit of Shiva Thapa and Manoj Kumar earlier in the Games, Vikas was the lone Indian boxer in fray and his defeat in the quarterfinals means India will return without a boxing medal from Rio.

Vikas, fighting in the 75kg class, was keen to bring India an Independence Day present but he had no chance against a much superior rival. An Asian champion and a world championships silver medallist, Melikuziev had also won the gold in the Youth Olympic Games two years ago.

“I am sorry to have let you down. My plan was to win the first round and then take it from there. But once he won the first round, it was very difficult to come back,” said a dejected Vikas after the bout.

In a unanimous decision, the judges gave Melikuziev the bout with a 30-27, 30-26, 30-26 score. It was a true reflection of the fight as the Uzbek dominated all the three rounds with his aggressive ways.

Melikuziev attacked from the start and never allowed the Indian to settle down. Vikas could not even look for an opening as the quick Uzbek was always at him, using his combinations to good effect to rock the Indian.

The former Asian Games champion did try to hang on but in the second round, he was thoroughly outclassed by the Uzbek southpaw and the third round too followed the same script.

“I wanted to win a medal for India on Independence Day and tried my best. Southpaws have always troubled me as we don’t get to train with them much in India. I had lost to him in the Asian Championships but he has improved vastly from that bout. He was clearly better than me,” admitted Vikas.

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